Each year, HOPE celebrates clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing the Thurman Award. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO and his wife, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. We’re excited to share the story of Miguelina, this year’s honorable mention from Latin America!
On any given day, Miguelina Padilla’s home is a flurry of activity. She operates a busy hair salon and used clothing and shoe store, occupying the front of her home, while the church Miguelina and her husband started a few years ago meets on the side. The church also hosts community bank meetings for Esperanza International, HOPE’s partner in the Dominican Republic.
A strong foundation
Having previously lost her home and business when the space her family rented was sold, Miguelina understands the value of stable home ownership. When the Padillas built their own home in 2008, they could not afford to install a roof, electricity, or a bathroom. But Miguelina dreamed of improving their home and reopening her hair salon, and she says Esperanza came at the right time. She used small loans to purchase salon products and equipment, declaring, “I’m going to work now, doing what I know how to do.”
With subsequent loans and training from Esperanza, Miguelina expanded into selling used clothing and shoes and invested in her family’s home. She and her husband are installing a new cement foundation and walls. These improvements will allow the Padillas to eventually increase the floor space of Miguelina’s businesses and their church.
Miguelina invests in others as well: She helped a friend from a neighboring town begin her own business, providing her with a hair-washing sink and blow dryer that she paid back over time. Miguelina says she was happy to help a fellow entrepreneur, little by little, just as she herself started with the help of others.
Anchored on the Solid Rock
Open with what God has placed in her hands, Miguelina sees her space as a channel for ministry and generosity, and she and her husband are passionate about inviting customers to their church so they can hear the Gospel. “God sends people here,” she says. “If God makes it clear that I should give someone shoes, or a shirt, or a dress, I do it right away.”
Miguelina uses the income from her businesses to support her two children and pay her own way through university, where she studies psychology. With two years of completed study, Miguelina dreams of becoming a psychologist. Rosaura, her loan officer, shares about her recent changes: “Miguelina truly has been transformed. … When she started [with Esperanza] she didn’t have hope; she had nothing.” Miguelina’s dedication to God, family, business, and church is evident, and she’s clearly anchored her foundation on the Solid Rock, sharing: “There are good times and bad times. … I always have peace because God is the one who supplies.”
When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. ~Luke 6:48